Kenyan Men Take Lead In Fight Against Gender-Based Violence

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Organisations involved in the fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and outdated cultural practices are now increasingly involving men owing to their influence in the African family setup.

Men Engage Kenya Network (Menken), in partnership with Isiolo County Government, is undertaking a male-led advocacy campaign that seeks to engage 2,000 men in dealing with GBV cases, especially in far-flung areas of the vast county.

More than 300 boda boda operators in Ngaremara have already been trained on reporting such cases and how to engage fellow men through social platforms and door-to-door campaigns in championing an end to gender-based violence.

 The men are also being trained on how to agitate for girls’ rights and protecting them from being preyed on and impregnated at a young age.

“The more we engage men in efforts to prevent GBV, the higher the prospects of creating a culture of non-violence and respect for human rights,” Menken Chair Fredrick Nyagah said.

Men are also being provided with posters and pamphlets bearing anti-FGM messages which they will use in educating residents on how to effectively respond to all forms of GBV.

The men, after training, will also lead efforts to arrest female genital mutilation (FGM) which is widely practised in the county.

 Abuse and exploitation

Mr Nyagah asked men to remain firm on their parenting role and use their power to protect their children from all forms of abuse and exploitation.

Mr Malan Ekal, who is leading the campaign in Ngaremara, where a spike in teenage pregnancies has been reported, said the training is geared towards building capacity for men to take a lead role in the fight against gender-based violence.

“They are supposed to transfer the knowledge to other men in raising awareness on GBV and promoting gender equality,” Mr Ekal said.

“We have been trained on how to quickly report GBV cases such as rape and defilement so that the perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted,” said Mr Samuel Ekitui who attended the training.

The NGO, in partnership with African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), has also created a platform for information sharing to reduce the impact of GBV, sexual reproductive health and HIV/Aids infections.

Source: Nation

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